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The 1940's
Dewey Defeats Truman! Or Does He?



Dewey Defeats Truman! Or Does He?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.45

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    forthright, presented, humanitarian, bearing, historic, atomic, nominee, offset, photographer, await, affected, landslide, headline, presidency, public, unsuccessfully
     content words:    Harry Truman, United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, World War II, War II, Thomas E., New York, Election Day, Elms Hotel, Excelsior Springs


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Dewey Defeats Truman! Or Does He?
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Harry Truman was a clothing store owner from Missouri. He didn't plan on becoming the President of the United States. He was just one of the men chosen to be vice president under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was Roosevelt's fourth term as president. Some thought the job would be his for many more years. No one expected F.D.R. to die while in office.
 
2     Roosevelt died suddenly on April 12, 1945. He had just begun his fourth term in January of that year. Following the rules of the Constitution, his vice president, Harry Truman, automatically assumed the role of president. The job would be his until the next election in 1948.
 
3     Truman had a tough job in those years between 1945 and 1948. One of his first and hardest decisions had to be whether to end World War II by using atomic weapons on Japan. He decided that this move was necessary. Many people praised him for having the courage to end the war in this way. Many hated him for making the decision which cost tens of thousands of people their lives.
 
4     The end of World War II also brought many other decisions to Truman's desk. He had to decide if the United States would help Europe to recover from the war. If the U.S. was to help, what form would that help take? Again, the people were divided. Many thought we should let the Europeans clean up their own mess. Others felt that the humanitarian thing to do was to send people and money to the affected areas right away.
 
5     When it came time for the presidential election of 1948, Truman decided to try to win the presidency on his own. He became the Democratic nominee. His opponent was Thomas E. Dewey. Dewey was the governor of the state of New York. He had unsuccessfully run for the presidency against Roosevelt in the 1944 election. He ran on the Republican ticket.

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The 1940's
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